Suicide remains the biggest killer among men aged under 45 in the UK, and British men are three times more likely than women to die by suicide. Here’s how to start the conversation…
Find the right space
Face-to-face, intervention-style conversations can often feel intense and intimidating. Aim for a more relaxed environment, like on a walk or car journey.
Notice ‘toxic’ masculinity
While banter and fake bravado are fine from time to time, try to notice when he’s not in the mood or your jokes aren’t going down so well. If something is different about him, ask how he’s doing.
Then ask a third, fourth or fifth time if you need to. Don’t give up just because he brushes you off with: ‘I’m fine’.
Share your experience
Cite an experience of your own that he might be able to relate to. This shows that he’s not alone, and it creates a two-way dialogue where you are both able to express your vulnerabilities in a safe and supportive way.
If your husband, partner or a friend is struggling with suicidal thoughts, don’t panic and don’t comfort straightaway. Hear them out as they reveal why, when and how they want to do it. Then seek professional help.
When men start talking, let them talk. Be there for them and listen.